Monthly Archives: July 2018

England coach, captain apologise

England captain Chris Robshaw and head coach Stuart Lancaster talk to media. Picture: Getty ImagesTWICKENHAM: England coach Stuart Lancaster and captain Chris Robshaw issued abject apologies after Australia dumped the host nation out of the World Cup with a comprehensive 33-13 victory on Saturday.
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Lancaster acknowledged that his future was now uncertain after England became the first host nation to fail to get out of the World Cup qualifying round.

“I am gutted, as we let the country down,” Robshaw said.

“As you can imagine, the changing room is a very quiet place. We feel we let the country down today. As players, we didn’t quite get there.

“We apologise to them. Australia played very well, but we’re gutted.

“Credit to Australia, we knew across the board that they would put us under pressure and they were good today.”

Lancaster and Robshaw had banked on the team bouncing back from a 28-25 defeat by Wales seven days earlier. But they were put to the sword by Bernard Foley’s 28 points for Australia.

Australia and Wales are now guaranteed the qualifying spots from Pool A.

England’s humiliation was completed when, 10 minutes from the end, Owen Farrell was sent to the sin bin for a reckless tackle.

“The yellow card for Owen Farrell was tough, we started to build a little momentum but left ourselves a little too much to do. We felt we built up some pressure but credit to their defence,” Robshaw told ITV.

Lancaster, who was awarded a new contract last year taking him up to 2020, also apologised.

“We’re gutted. And gutted for all the fans and everyone at home. Everyone put so much effort in but we’re sorry we let everyone down,” said Lancaster, who replaced Martin Johnson after England’s terrible 2011 World Cup in New Zealand when they went out in the quarter-finals.

“The first half we went in 17-3 behind and I felt that was a tough scoreline. We got back into the game but in the last five to 10 minutes, after the yellow card, Australia dominated and deserved to win.

“We came up short last week against Wales and this week – that’s the bottom line,” said the coach. “But there are some good players in this squad and I hope the nation stays behind them.”

Asked about his own future, Lancaster replied: “It’s not for me to say. I’ve just got to get them ready for next week.”

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Pedestrian river crossing would promote exerciseEDITORIAL

It is the bridge that nobody wants to pay for, yet the discussion around it has continued for 10 years.
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A pedestrian bridge between Maitland and Lorn has again popped up in plans for the new Cathedral Precinct.

The Diocese of Maitland Newcastle wants the pedestrian bridge to help rejuvenate Maitland CBD.

Maitland City Council thinks the bridge would provide a good access point and promote the river walk as a great exercise route.

Despite the positive discussion, it seems nobody wants to fork out the money to build the structure.

Read the story here

Perhaps the discussion is not about just a bridge, but a question of the future of Maitland CBD.

Most of the major cities of the world have excellent pedestrian connections and walking routes that encourage people to spend their time meandering around the city.

In some places the bridge becomes an attraction in its own right. For example the Millennium Bridge which crosses the Thames in London is asteel suspension structure for pedestrians.

It links two main tourist sites, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern Gallery, and it is packed with pedestrians on most days in the summer.

A bridge at Maitland, whether it be for shared cycle and pedestrian use, could have this same effect on thecity and put some vibrancy back into the CBD.

You can’t help but feel an attractive footbridge across the river linking the city centre to Lorn could only be a good thing for the city.

With frustrated residents and traders still calling for stage one of The Levee to be finished after months of botched deadlines, perhaps a bridge is too much to ask for at this stage.

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Veteran numbers concern for Hawks

Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge with the past three premiership trophies on Sunday. Picture: Getty ImagesMATCH REPORT, PHOTOS
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SO long as Hawthorn’s core group of four-time AFL premiership players keep producing, they will be encouraged to continue their stellar careers.

Those stars had crucial roles on Saturday as Hawthorn became only the sixth AFL team to win three premierships in a row.

But the combination that beat West Coast by 46 points is also the oldest premiership team in AFL history.

The immediate challenge for the Hawks as they try to maintain this dynasty is striking the right balance between regeneration and retention.

Captain Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Grant Birchall, Jordan Lewis, Cyril Rioli and Jarryd Roughead have won four flags with Hawthorn.

Shaun Burgoyne has won three with the Hawks and one with Port Adelaide.

Hodge (31), Mitchell (33 on October 10) and Burgoyne (33 on October 21) are over 30 and Lewis will join them in April.

David Hale, 31, is likely to retire, while Brian Lake, 33, wants to keep playing. Alastair Clarkson, the first man to coach Hawthorn to four premierships, admits some big decisions have to be made in the next 12 months to two years.

“But you look at the Burgoynes, Mitchells and Hodges. They’re playing some of their best footy,” he said.

“We don’t want to push those guys out of our football club because they have a birth certificate that says they’re past that ripe old age of 30.

“We need to be diligent with our decision-making around that.”

While the Hawks will celebrate their latest premiership, Clarkson said they must move on quickly.

“Our dilemma and challenge in the weeks, months and certainly years ahead . . . is just to balance how we inject some youth into our group at the same time as when some of these guys finish their careers,” he said.

Their celebrations will continue at Glenferrie Oval on Sunday afternoon with a family day, where the team will be presented to Hawks fans.

WEST Coast defender Jeremy McGovern was too nice during Saturday’s grand final shellacking at the hands of Hawthorn, according to AFL great Leigh Matthews.

McGovern has come under fire for helping Hawks skipper Luke Hodge get back onto his feet straight after the three-quarter-time siren.

Hodge had been in a world of pain just moments earlier after being pummelled to the ground by McGovern.

The Eagles trailed by 50 points at the time, meaning much of the angst between the two sides had already evaporated given the hefty margin.

But Matthews, who coached Brisbane to a hat-trick from 2001-03, said McGovern still should not have helped Hodge.

‘‘I wouldn’t have liked one of my players being that polite,’’ Matthews told Channel Seven on Sunday.

Former Sydney premiership star Jude Bolton agreed.

‘‘Michael Voss or someone like that would have given him a bit more to go on with as well,’’ Bolton said. ‘‘Grand finals aren’t for niceties. Certainly you have that respect in home and away games.’’

Nick Maxwell, who captained Collingwood to the 2010 flag, said players couldn’t afford to taper back on their aggression when playing a team like Hawthorn.

‘‘The Eagles lost the aggressive, unsociable side of a grand final,’’ Maxwell said. ‘‘That’s something they would have learned. That’s the way you have to play against Hawthorn. You have to be aggressive all the time. By three-quarter-time, they knew the game was over.’’

McGovern tried hard throughout the day, taking some crucial intercept marks early on before kicking two late goals. But in the end he and his fellow defenders were simply overwhelmed as the Hawks ran rampant. AAP

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Parramatta shooting: Teen gunman Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar’s alleged links to extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir

Senior Hizb ut-tahrir figure Ismail Al-Wahwah speaking at a rally. Photo: Steven SiewertCurtis Cheng’s family pay tribute to ‘loving man’Child killer mostly a mystery to neighboursChilling footage captures gunman’s final momentsOnline extremists harnessing anger of youthShooter’s secret ‘died with him’
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A teen gunman who shot and killed a police employee on Friday did so after he heard a lecture by the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Seven News has reported.

However, the group has downplayed the claim as “speculation”.

Seven News said Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar was at a lecture given by Hizb ut-Tahrir at Parramatta Mosque on Friday, before he donned a black robe and killed finance worker Curtis Cheng outside NSW Police headquarters in Parramatta.

The 15-year-old then paced up and down the footpath and fired at armed officers before he was shot dead.

Hizb ut-Tahrir hit the headlines last year after footage surfaced of a 6-year-old boy at one of the group’s youth meetings in Lakemba advocating for a caliphate and declaring “you’re never too young to be a Soldier for Khalifa”.

The footage, which was branded “sickening” by Channel Seven, spurred an investigation by police.

When Seven News reporter Brian Seymour knocked on the door of senior Australian Hizb ut-Tahrir figure Ismail Al-Wahwah, vision caught on a body camera showed Mr Al-Wahwah pointing his finger at Mr Seymour, repeatedly telling him to “get lost” and calling him a liar.

“The people pay to you to tell Australia, say the truth not to fabricate lies,” Mr Al-Wahwah said.

Seven News were unable to confirm if Farhad was a member of a Hizb ut-Tahrir youth group or if he had just been there that day to hear the lecture, they said. The gunman has been linked to an Islamist group already under investigation.— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) October 4, 2015

A spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, Uthman Badar would not comment to Fairfax Media on the existence of any links between Farhad and his organisation.

“Any links are speculation and we could caution against making speculation,” Mr Badar said.

Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects democracy, secularism and all Western models of state. On Sunday it held a rally in Lakemba protesting against military action by Russia and the US in Syria.

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Contract for new armoured personnel carriers to be announced

Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce today that the Australian army’s ASLAVs are to be replaced. Photo: Paul RoverePrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is set to announce a key piece of Australia’s future defence force capability: up to 1000 armoured vehicles.
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Fairfax Media understands the decision has been taken to award a contract for tough Hawkei land vehicles made by the firm Thales equipped to keep troops safe on the battlefield from an array of threats, including improvised explosive devices.

The contract is expected to be worth at least $1 billion, with the successful tender expected to be announced on Monday at a facility on the outskirts of Melbourne.

The Prime Minister will accompany Defence Minister Marise Payne for the announcement.

The Hawkei will be built at the same Bendigo plant where the venerable Bushmaster was manufactured. The Bushmaster with its uniquely blast-proof undercarriage to thwart improvised explosive devices has kept Australian troops safe in Afghanistan.

Thales was vying against two other bidders, Force Protection’s Ocelot and General Dynamics’ Eagle IV.

Correction: An earlier version of this article contained a number of errors about Mr Turnbull’s announcement expected later on Monday. The article has been changed to reflect the new information.

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Pedestrian bridge to Lorn but who will pay?POLL

CATHEDRAL PRECINCT: Pedestrian bridge is on the plans but not in the funding.A pedestrian bridge over the Hunter River links Lorn and the Maitland CBD in the latest artist’s impression of the Cathedral Precinct.
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Discussed on and off in Maitland City Council circles for 10 years or more, the Cathedral Precinct architect has drawn the bridge into the latest set of plans.

But neither the diocese or council says it has money to build the bridge that would land near the Lorn beach.

The Cathedral Precinct is an evolution of Bishop Bill Wright’s plan for the dilapidated St John’s Cathedral that began when he was ordained in late 2011.

He’s put the focus back on Maitland, where the diocese started, but his faith in a bridge took time to develop.

“When I first moved here I was sceptical of the bridge, but it will enhance what we’re doing,” he said.

Worth $3.2 million, stage one has started with renovations to St John’s Cathedral, Bishop House and the old convent, which will have the capacity to accommodate bridal parties.

Read what the Mercury has to say here

Earlier this year, the diocese ­partnered with council to prepare an application for Resources for Regions funding.

This would fund stage two of the precinct the diocese unveiled on Tuesday which includes a forecourt opposite the cathedral and a realignment of Cathedral Street where it meets High Street to remove the ­dog-leg.

Further, the plans show a cobblestone area and staircase onto the riverbank where it meets a pedestrian bridge.

Diocese business and community engagement manager Barry Urwin said stage two was dependent on Resources for Regions funds, but added that the bridge was not in the project’s scope.

He said the diocese hoped to land the money for the forecourt and car park.

“We’re waiting with bated breath,” Mr Urwin said.

“Stage two is an important piece in Maitland’s CBD revival. It sits between The Levee and the [Athol Dombrain Drive] hosing precinct.”

If the Cathedral Precinct is ­shortlisted in Resources for Regions funding, the diocese and council will lodge a full application.

The mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, said people shouldn’t get their hopes up about a pedestrian bridge.

“When you start to think and St Peters and Maitland Public School students [from Lorn] it helps with their access,” he said. “But let [the diocese] get stage two finished first.

“The council won’t be putting any money toward it at this stage.”

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Calls to close Nauru growing

ANGLICAN priest Rod Bower says the detention of people on Nauru ‘‘can’t be allowed to continue’’ after reports a woman attempted suicide on Saturday following her daughter’s alleged rape and transfer to Australia for treatment.
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‘‘This is a devastating story,’’ said Father Bower, after he was contacted to say an Iranian woman was on suicide watch at Nauru more than six weeks after her daughter was flown to Brisbane for delayed treatment following the alleged rape in May.

The younger woman remains in hospital.

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to close detention centres at Nauru and Manus Island and bring remaining asylum seekers and refugees to Australia – including more than 90 children – after media reports in August of the younger woman’s treatment following the alleged rape.

The younger woman, known as Nazanin, was allegedly brutally raped by three men and found naked by the side of the road with bruises and bites on her body.

Her subsequent treatment was appalling, said Father Bower and Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites spokeswoman Janet Galbraith.

‘‘We can’t keep looking at these as isolated incidents,’’ Ms Galbraith said. ‘‘This is a woman and her family in Australia’s care, and the standard of her treatment should be the same as any woman who has been raped. It isn’t, because it happened at Nauru.’’

Trauma specialist and Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites member Dr Helen Driscoll said suicide attempts were ‘‘tragically, entirely predictable’’, in a situation where a family was separated following an alleged sexual assault.

Dr Driscoll said she had raised the need for Nazanin’s family to be with her in Australia directly with health officials on Nauru, when the young woman was transferred to a Brisbane private hospital in August.

#[email protected] Please stop trying to patch up this failed #Asylumseeker policy. close #Nauru and #Manuspic.twitter南京夜网/jzSzxCF9b5

— Fr Rod Bower (@FrBower) October 2, 2015

Ms Galbraith and Dr Driscoll, who have contact with Nazanin’s brother who remains on Nauru with his mother, said the family was told they would join Nazanin in Brisbane while she was receiving treatment, but this had not occurred.

Father Bower said it was not difficult to understand a mother’s despair at being separated from her daughter after being told of the initial brutal act.

He remained hopeful the federal government’s views about the Nauru and Manus Island centres would change.

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Youths cook for Isa

Creating awareness for Mental Health Week, Mount Isa youths took the time to have a cook-off on Thrusday as part of My Kitchen Rox. Organised by Headspace, the winner will be announced this Friday at the skate parkafter4pm.
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Youths cook for Isa Alyssa, Liddle, Pauline Lagatuz and Lelissa Marsh were proud to take the time out of their school holidays to cook for guests.

Straight Outta YPA are Toga Volivatarua, Jamie Sam, Nadia Friday, Latisha Frida, Leanne Joseoh, A. Bhata and Roimata Pera

Jacqui Bakhash and Sharon Sellings took the time to judge some of Mount Isa’s most talented cooks in a cook-off. Winners will be announced this Friday.

Mattea Smith, Sienna Hume, Thomas Smith and Lachlan Hume cooked grilled Barramundi with a cucumber and mango salad.

MKR runners-up Jacqui Bakhash and Sharon Sellings take the time to enjoy mocktails and meals cooked by four teams of youths.

Linda Hygate, Andrea Casey and Stephanie King sat at team Straight Out of YPA ‘s table and enjoyed a two-course meal.

Ron Pertout and Bonnie MacRae from MIGATE enjoyed fresh watermelon and mint mocktails followed by a two-course meal.

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Wallabies rout sends warning to Cup rivals

Wallabies players wave to fans after beating England. Picture: Getty Images Wallabies players wave to fans after beating England. Picture: Getty Images
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LONDON: Australia sent an emphatic message to their World Cup rivals by destroying England’s tournament with their best performance under coach Michael Cheika.

Following a relatively low-key start to the tournament with wins over Fiji and Uruguay, Saturday night’s 33-13 belting of the tournament hosts has put the Wallabies front and centre as the second favourites, behind New Zealand, to win their third World Cup title.

The victory, their biggest ever at Twickenham, lifts Australia to the top of Pool A ahead of Wales on points difference, and consigns England to the ignominy of being the first World Cup hosts to fail to reach the knockout stages.

It was a win built on a career-best outing by No. 10 Bernard Foley, who racked up a personal haul of 28 points, a powerful scrum and a complete domination of the ruck thanks to an all-star back row.

The win is Australia’s first over England at a World Cup since the 1991 final at Twickenham, and goes some way towards avenging quarter-final losses in 1995 and 2007 – not to mention the 2003 final.

It also keeps alive their unbeaten World Cup record in the United Kingdom, where they lifted the trophy in 1991 and 1999.

Foley said he hoped the impressive slaying of their fierce rivals would kickstart the Wallabies’ campaign.

“It is a week-to-week tournament, we can enjoy it tonight but we have to get busy prepping for Wales tonight,” he said. “We have always spoken about winning all the pool games and that is still the objective.

“You don’t want to lose any games. You want to take momentum into the finals.

“It is really important for us to have a good performance against Wales next week and finish off the pool stages strong.”

A brief English comeback, which cut the Wallabies’ lead to seven points with 15 minutes remaining, was snuffed out with the 71st minute sin-binning of England five-eighth Owen Farrell for tackling Matt Giteau without the ball.

Foley kicked two more penalties before Giteau ran in an 80th-minute try, but the defensive strength during that period was what impressed Giteau the most.

“There was a period there from about the 50th to 70th minute where they came at us and we had to hold pretty strong, hold our nerve,” Giteau said. “They came home with a bit of a wet sail so I think that showed some great character from us and there’s still a lot of things we can improve on.”

It highlighted that this is a Wallabies team made of sterner stuff than some recent incarnations, and gave added belief to the team that they have the potential to go deep into the tournament.

“We have always had the belief that we have got the game and I suppose tonight we unlocked a bit of that,” added Foley, who finished with two tries and a seven-from-seven record with the boot.

“A big part of our identity is to come out and perform well every time we play, not just here and there.

“We aim to always put out a performance we can be proud of. Next week we will get another chance.”

Makeshift No. 8 David Pocock was again outstanding at the breakdown as England had no answer to the brilliant ball thief, coughing up possession time and again.

Much of the pre-match talk centred around the scrum, and whether the Wallabies would turn to mush as they had in the past.

Instead it was England who cracked, conceding six scrum penalties.

Loose-head prop Joe Marler was the main culprit as French referee Romain Poite singled him out for boring in at an angle.

After conceding his fourth scrum penalty, Marler was hooked by coach Stuart Lancaster, whose job is on the line following an embarrassing early exit on home soil.

The Wallabies will monitor injuries to Israel Folau (ankle) and Rob Horne (shoulder).

LONDON: The Wallabies could be hit by a third injury setback within a week after winger Rob Horne suffered a shoulder injury in the famous World Cup thumping of England.

But the outstanding performance of replacement Kurtley Beale will certainly give coach Michael Cheika plenty to think about should the sturdy utility back not be available for Saturday’s clash with Wales.

There were also concerns for star fullback Israel Folau, who failed to finish the 33-13 thrashing at Twickenham after rolling his ankle.

Horne left the field just 11 minutes into the match and finished the night with his arm in a sling, prompting fears he could join forwards Will Skelton (pectoral) and Wycliff Palu (hamstring) in being ruled out of the tournament.

Cheika said the extent of the injury was unclear and that Horne will likely be sent for scans on Sunday.

‘‘We’re not sure if [the shoulder] came out or not,’’ he said. ‘‘He seems pretty good right now, but we’ll let it settle for 24 hours.’’

But Beale, more at home at fullback, five-eighth or centre, put in a memorable performance. AAP

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Promising signs for Emerging Wildfires

Bill Coffey scores against Sydney Galaxy.COACH Todd Louden said his Newcastle Emerging Wildfires squad would take plenty of confidence from their debut effort in a 45-23 loss to Sydney Galaxy ahead of their toughest assignment in the new program.
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The Emerging Wildfires squad took the field for the first time at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night to cap the first week of a four-week semi-professional program that includes three games against National Rugby Championship development teams.

Newcastle led early when Bill Coffey scored two of his three tries, but the Galaxy quickly took control late in the first half to be 29-10 ahead at the break.

Coffey scored again to make it 29-15 but the send-off of Emerging Wildfires league convert Howie Grant for a high tackle with 15 minutes left helped Galaxy kick clear with three tries in the last 10 minutes. Blake Walsh scored for the visitors near full-time.

Louden was proud of the effort considering Galaxy had an extensive preparation and fielded NRC players on Friday night.

“We played probably our youngest team that we could in patches,” Louden said.

“And they had played five matches and that was our first, off just two training sessions, so we did pretty well.

“We had a real focus on attack, and I think they surprised themselves and realised they could compete at that level.

“As a whole, they all played fairly well, but they’ve got a lot to learn, and that was the exciting thing. They came off with a buzz.

“The program is about them learning and taking that back to their clubs, and they came off very positive about it.”

The Emerging Wildfires play ACT Canberra Vikings at Viking Park on Saturday, before home games against Southern Sydney at Ernie Calland Oval (October 17) and the Australian Barbarians at No. 2 Sportsground (October 24).

Louden said the effort against Galaxy was “really promising for the area” but the squad would face their most challenging match this weekend.

“They played with a real attacking spirit,” Louden said.

“We were running it from most parts of the ground, which was good to see. The next game, against the Vikings, will be our toughest game.

“We will come up against some Super Rugby players, which will be a great experience for them.”

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